Cairo called to oversee reconciliation after Ramadan prisoner deal breached

[ 28/08/2011 – 03:04 PM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– The families of the West Bank political prisoners committee has released an important report documenting statistics on the West Bank security services in Ramadan as the holy month comes to a close.

Officials from Hamas and Fatah met in Cairo before Ramadan when promises were made to release all political prisoners in the occupied territories before Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the month.

However, arrests across the entire West Bank continued even after those agreements were made. In conjunction with an arrest campaign by the Israeli occupation authorities, the sweeps saw the detention of more than 150 of Hamas’s supporters.

The report gives several important figures. Most notably it documents 75 political arrests and some 200 summonses since the beginning of Ramadan. Four of those summoned were women from Al-Khalil and Nablus cities.

The vast majority of those arrests were executed by the Palestinian Authority’s preventive security forces, and some were carried out by the PA intelligence, the report says

Among those arrested were leaders, activists, reporters, former prisoners, and university students.

According to the report, the West Bank security services are still holding some 120 Palestinians in prisons for political reasons. Three of them have spent more than four years, four have spent more than three years, six have spent more than two years, twelve have spent more than a year and 20 others have spent more than six months in detention.

The report also condemns that some elements from the Fatah party have repudiated the arrests, saying that the West Bank security agencies belong to the Fatah party, which governs the West Bank.

“If Fatah is serious about reconciliation, it must order all the leaders of the agencies to immediately free all the political prisoners before Eid al-Fitr,” the committee said, calling on Hamas to employ all means to pressure Fatah into stopping the recent string of arrests.

The report goes on to call on Cairo, which brokered the reconciliation talks, too to fulfill its role in the reconciliation process and to see that Fatah carries out the terms agreed to.

The committee said it would continue protesting until all forms of political persecution in the West Bank came to a halt.

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